Teachers held classes in the cafeteria of the Guy Benjamin school two days this week to protest the transfer of the school’s only special education teacher to St. Thomas. The teacher had been assigned to work with about six students needing special attention. The job action was to complain about what they said was a lack of communication from the district superintendent, according to a report in the Virgin Islands Daily News. They tried to contact William Frett, but he did not reply. Efforts by the newspaper to reach the superintendent were also unsuccessful, nor did Benjamin’s principal, Margaret Bowers, offer a comment.
Alan Hogenauer, an associate professor and director of the Center for Travel and Tourism at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, has completed a 50-year-adventure by snorkeling at the Virgin Islands Coral Reef Monument near St. John. "I learned that getting there is more than half the fun," he told the Virgin Islands Daily News. He is believed to be the first person to have visited each of the National Park service’s 388 units Hogenauer teaches travel and tourism at Marymount, and likes to make lists. His other goals include traveling to every national forest, and presidential birthplace and graveyard.
A "Day of Caring" brought about 60 people, some from St. Thomas, to clean up the Julius E. Sprauve School, the St. John Source reported. Juanita Young, president of the United Way, sanded a picket fence at the school’s entrance and said, "This brings the community as whole to a particular project." This was the first activity on St. John organized by the charitable group, the story said. Caneel Bay resort contributed workers as well as equipment including a backhoe. Volunteers painted the concrete fence around the Winston Wells ball field and helped prepare an area across from the school where it is hoped playground equipment can be installed.
St. John’s Craig Barshinger was elected Senator At Large. The community activist and perennial candidate narrowly defeated the incumbent, Almando Liburd. After counting provisional and absentee ballots late last week, Barshinger led by 319 votes in unofficial results released by the Board of Elections over the weekend, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News. Analysts said voters on St. Croix were instrumental in giving the Senator-elect his victory.
It was his fifth campaign effort in 10 years. Previous efforts, he told the St. John Source, were "necessary in learning how to get things done; how to build up a network of friendships, (and) people with shared goals." Barshinger, who’s actively involved in the St. John Community Foundation’s project to develop a recommendation for local government, said finally winning the Senate seat is not a big deal. "I suppose when it sinks in, I’ll be more ebullient," he commented, "but to me it’s just a position on a board, an important position."
In other contests, Donna M. Christensen easily won reelection as the territory’s Delegate to Congress.
The territory’s Democratic Governor said he had a successful series of meetings in Washington last week, discussing new regulations affecting the territory’s Economic Development Commission. Charles Turnbull met with former house majority leader Dick Armey and Reagen communications director Michael Deaver, before conferring with Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton and other executive branch staffers. "I am heartened by the response we received regarding the need to develop a fair and reasonable rules for the EDC program which has contributed so greatly to our economy and our fiscal future," the Governor said in a news release, according to the St. John Source. Legislation recently signed by Pres. Bush establishes standards for meeting residency and income-source standards for EDC-chartered companies to qualify for substantial tax exemptions.
The fourth annual season of Jazz in the Moonlight concerts, produced by Steve Simon, kicks off Saturday at the Westin Resort. Trumpeter Eddie Russell and his band will be the featured performers. Russell is a native Crucian and is known in the business as "the heart and soul of Caribbean Jazz." St. Thomians can also easily attend the show by taking a special ferry from Red Hook direct to the Westin. There’s more information on the Web site at jazzinthemoonlight.com.